PHS students discuss summertime horror movies

Austin Graft

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Snapdragons are gorgeous summertime flowers, but when they die their dried petals resemble human skulls.

We were born for one thing, born to face the greatest fear of all.

-Joseph Duplantier, Fortitude

Fear. Fear is one of man’s most basic, primal emotions. A reaction that drives people back into the apes in their attempt to rid themselves of that terrible, gnawing sensation. Why then do people seek fear in the form of entertainment? Why do we crave that horrid sensation that maybe we’re not alone in the dark, when we thought we were?

Horror movies appeal to millions of people, and dominate the fall, especially around Halloween. But should we allow that craving for stimulus-by-fear bleed into the other seasons of the year? Particularly the joyous summer? 

“The appeal to horror movies is the change of pace when compared to action movies,” junior Armando Hernandez said. “Jump scares, suspense, and the plot’s premise are what scare me the most.”

Hernandez cites “Child’s Play” and the “Scream” franchise as his favorite horror flicks. “Child’s Play” is set in November, but the second Scream movie takes place in June. And so summer claims part of one of the most successful slasher franchises in history.

“Summer horror isn’t bad when thinking of series like Friday the 13th,” Hernandez said. “But overall, it isn’t done well very often.”

According to, “Friday the 13th”’s Jason Voorhees boasts the second highest kill count of any slasher franchise, 157, sitting just behind the “Halloween” series’ Micheal Myers, who claims 170. But both of these icons owe their inspiration to a true behemoth of Summertime Horrors: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

PHS junior Emma Short names “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” as one of her favorite horror movies. To her, the interest in horror lies in the outcome, and in the surprises the films bring.

“What scares me about [horror movies] is that you never really know what people’s intentions are,” Short said. “Especially in ‘Scream’ and ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’”

What scares me about [horror movies] is that you never really know what people’s intentions are. Especially in ‘Scream’ and ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’.

— Emma Short

This is masterfully shown in summer horror movies like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” because in any given situation, you never truly know what you’re stumbling into or what’s going to stumble back out at you.

“I feel like summer themed scary movies are way different than ones based around Halloween or something predictable,” Short said. “Scary movies based around summer go to show that anything can happen anytime. Not just around Halloween.”